Saturday, February 26, 2011

Impesshye Kohima! (Thank you Kohima…) - Kohima Diaries 4

Well! Tomorrow morning I start my travel at 9am. I will be back to Delhi – waiting for me is work, pending meetings, stretched traffic signals, unconventional weather, Gurgaon’s power cuts, running life and a lot to rush. Last 3-4 days, I have been feeling the heat already!

The beautiful valley of ‘Kohima’ – introduced to me the simplest life I ever thought of. I actually had never thought of a life without television, with a struggle for vegetarian food, with a walking habit and me finding the time for it and lot of time for soul searching, with a routine of waking up at 7am and going back to bed around 9.30pm or 10pm at night and beyond this, never feeling the need for a day to get any longer. It was all said n done during the day and I could get a peaceful sleep as I was never worried or in a rush to get up another morning with a lot of post-its on my mind. Ah! Such a pleasure n peace it has been for last 20 days.

And back home, many-a-times I wanted the day to get longer as 24 hours were not enough. If it isn’t work always, it can be catching up with a friend, visiting a party, dating Rohit, having a peaceful lunch/dinner, visiting parents etc., we lose many a times on a most of such simple & important things. All because of ‘The Rush’ –this is one thing I never saw/felt/heard or experienced in Kohima. Amazing city – it gave me time to observe, think and do some soul searching. So the curiosity of why so different has now turned into something like – ‘Different is simple and simple is good’.

And for the experience I would like to say ‘Thanks’ to the Department Of Technical Education, Kohima for giving me the opportunity to be a part of their Integrated Program of Advanced Retail Management and experience an altogether different yet beautiful life.

My Take-Away’s from the brief Visit:

   ‘Uncomplicate Life’: Life is only complicated if we make it that way. We need to find peace in simple things. People out here are so simple and yet so satisfied. What are you rushing for?

2.       ‘Do not compare’: Somehow, I felt that life here is beautiful because no one believes in any kind of comparisons. Everybody is happy with whatever they are blessed with and of course, at their own levels they are trying to improve it. Again with no rush, they have their faith and their hard work. Their minds are at peace.

3.       ‘Prioritize & communicate’:  People here know their priorities right. They don’t do things for pleasing others; they don’t burden themselves with unnecessary tensions. They know their priority and communicate with so much ease.

4.       ‘Be Proud of your Place’: One should be proud of the place one belongs and should be respectful about where it started – the journey called ‘Life’.
 [Yes, though people here are lazy to take up things and to initiate but surely the Government & Youth are bound to spread awareness and the best thing is wherever they learn or earn, they are all eager to come back & contribute to their city, their state.]  We all think like that at some point or the other but how many of us actually do that? And the people – I have met have no religious or conservative motives – they just want to be back and do something here – at their land of festivals.

5.       ‘Love & Affection’: Yes, I am taking back lot of love & affection from the people here. Their simplicity mesmerized me at various levels. My students were like a bunch of variety in many ways. They weren’t street smart like those from metro geographies but they were sincere & eager to learn & experience new things. They accepted the course & change with open arms. I made a very good friend here – who not only took me around to places but also helped me understand the culture and people here. And all these people gave me wonderful memories.

6.       ‘Judgments are not good’:  I always believed in ‘no early judgments’ and people close to me know that I do not jump on judgment easily. This visit helped me reinforce my belief. People here shall not be judged on what they have experienced & are exposed to because we need to understand the pitch of life we have and they have. We have gained speed and momentum and we are busy chasing happiness in the form of jobs, money, exposure, achievement etc and they have earned peace with the very belief – we are here to live –happily.

Are you wondering again – How?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kohima Diaries- 3, Kohima War Cementry

When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

Saturday, we visited the Kohima War Cementry. I have never been to such a place before so it was slightly difficult for me to explore and learn about such a place where a war was fought and people had died saving that place.

It was even disheartening to know that there also lay the graves of warriors who died an unknown death as their identities couldn’t be traced. My heart mellowed thinking about their families. Rohit, my husband who has a deep interest in history told me about the Tennis Court around which the British Indian troupes fought the Japanese.

Though I was happy that people here are proud of this place and CWG is maintaining it in a very respectful way. It is not commercialized though it always flashes on Nagaland Tourism. You can actually read out the names of those who fought here and lost their lives, those who were in any which way a part of those battalions.

Walking down from the War Cementry- we found an Aircraft which was very much a part of World War II but is now placed inside the Governor’s residing premises so we couldn’t click it. But it was devastating to find the tank of World War II in such a pathetic condition with lot of beer bottles, canes and filth loitered around.  We wondered – why in the world is the government ignorant about this.

All in all – a great experience with lot of mingling thoughts about those who actually gave their lives for our today and tomorrow. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Kohima Diaries - 2

Well… I had said…..more about the villages in Nagaland in my next post. Saturday the February 12, 2011 we went for shopping in the Main Town Market & the other popular markets in Kohima. Please note it’s a very self-suffice place, self manufactured and self-consumed principle is what still rules the city. Though we get real fashionable stuff from Bangkok, China etc but still what was breath-taking here was the tribal jewelery and the simplicity of tribal attires….which can be still fashionable in their own b’ful ways. So, when it comes to shopping – I bought real good tribal jewelery which do take care of the minute details and are again all handmade. Now I have a collection of jewelery of various tribal communities like – Angami, Lotha, Aao etc. Then how can a girl resist buying – Handbags. Oh! I really got some good ones here. A bit of tit-bits here n there….some hand woven boxes, Angami mufflers etc are another picks.

Sunday the 13th, my so very sweet students took me to a nearby village as I had shared my desire to visit a village and see the actual Nagaland. Like they say…… if cities are the face of a state….villages is the heart. We went to – ‘Jakhama’ few kms up from Kohima (Picture above – Window to Nagaland). And you can vouch of the serenity it offers. There is a huge Jakhama ground in the village where the village functions are to held and celebrated. And there again you will find the hut shaped stands in the ground depicting various tribes who are the majority residents of Jakhama. Post that we had gone to the St.Joseph College, which is a home away from home; offering various courses, again a very calm and wonderfully managed premise. Since, it was a Sunday we couldn’t witness the real uproar of a college kind of place.  (Picture above)

Beautiful memories and I truly enjoyed the visit. I hereby would like to Thank - Seno, Apong, Zabu & Samuel for making my day a forever cherish able.

Coming up next would be visit to War Cementry & the tank we discovered from World War II…

Monday, February 14, 2011

Do you recall some events in past that have shaped your present?

Image Courtesy: Firetongue8

I am asked – Do you recall some events in past that have shaped your present?

Difficult one......! I could recall various instances which contributed to what I am today.....but framing it in words looks like a mountain.

One thing I always knew since my childhood was - I have to have an identity of my own and second thing I have to be independent – in my thoughts, my work, and my belief of life. I wanted to have peace of mind, the tranquility of achievement. That doesn’t mean – I wanted to be renowned person or something but I wanted to be a person of my own – who believed in doing & did.

I was an introvert, an optimist introvert and all I wanted was to prove my mettle. I wanted to prove it to people who had at times consciously or unconsciously showed a disbelief in my thoughts, aspirations & even my dreams. Believe me; it’s tough to be optimist. It tests you really hard. There were times…that I felt like getting into a shell and forget about all aspirations and dreams.  I used to pray to God – to take it all back and let me become a person of routine life.

I always followed.... my instinct! Though it has been a difficult call always....but somehow I managed to. I never pressed myself too hard to do something which I dint loved or believed in.  

Though, there were testing situations when I had to choose between the easy & difficult, short-cuts & long struggles etc but most of the times – I end up putting myself to test.  Or we can say, most of the times in those situations I could convince myself to hold on and excel. At times I succeeded and at times….was taught a lesson. In both cases, learning continued and it still does.

Yes, in some ways I am at peace but the struggle to dream continues. The new ones are in making, somewhat dense….they are in the process of getting the picture correct. I am again getting ready to find something new….maybe it’s the next phase…another level of ecstasy in terms of belief, learning & success.

My inspirations are varied…sometimes an entire book, sometimes a statement, sometimes a personality, sometimes an incident….. God has always been generous in providing me right mentors at different levels of life and the constant belief of my family & few friends, in my capabilities which I at times feel is too rigid, gets me to reach places.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Kohima Diaries

Picture this: 3 weeks - No Television. No Internet. No Newspaper!

Well! Last Sunday, around this time…I was worried, tensed and wondering as how in the world am I going to stay & more importantly survive here for 3 weeks! Though the place, where I am staying is all nice, neat & organized but there is no Television and the day I reach there was no internet connection. I felt like I am going to be in some real trouble –as I will be staying in this aloof building which is one of the safest places to stay over in the city. But somehow I realized that it’s an opportunity to connect to nature and to connect to myself.

The people here are in their own worlds, they don’t bother because majority of them are not aware of the speed with which we live in the metros out there. They are self-sufficient & satisfied in their own beautiful ways. They do something or the other for their livelihood and they manage – really well at times! Other thing which I like about this place is the simplicity & their love for the region & community. They are very humble, proud and accepting about where they belong to, unlike the people back who at times even hesitate to accept about their roots being coming from a small town or may be a village.

Youth here is like friendly, sincere, lazy at times and involved in some activity or the other. There are Church activities, Music trainings, and Part-time schools, Student Unions of each of the 16 tribal communities to work for and keep oneself busy. There is no run, no competition, no jealousy and hence no problem. They have aspirations and they have dreams but there is no rush of any kinds.

Sundays here are too peaceful & calm. It’s a complete rest day and the markets almost resemble to the curfew clad metro city. Even some of the getaway joints, lounges are closed on Sundays – Imagine Delhi/Mumbai or Bangalore like that! Most of us will get panicky even on this thought. Restaurants are open here from 10am – 6pm.

Food preferences are mostly towards non-vegetarian preparations. Incidentally that’s the biggest challenge for me to survive – even after a weeklong stay. We do get vegetarian food but very few options and even less variety.  There are a lot of bakeries here and that’s why you don’t get branded breads here, because they prepare their own stuff.

Western clothes are quite popular among youth but at the same time you will see a lot of ladies wearing traditional dress called ‘Myekhala’ which is hand woven in different colors & threads depending on the tribal community. The jewellery patterns & colors also vary from community to community, but you get real exquisite ones.

Overall it’s a different place – a different world of its own.

More to come about my shopping experience and visit to the village ‘Jakhama’ and other tourist destinations!

P.S:I managed to get Internet & Newspaper!